Mad Mike Monsters, Volumes 1 - 3
Norton Records CED 338, 339, & 340
If you grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1960s and hugged your radio to sleep at night with the ear tuned to WZUM, no doubt the on-air mayhem created by disc jockey Mad Mike Metrovich left its mark. When it came to letting listeners in on the doings, he was an odd bird. Why a DJ would go to such extremes to hide a record label from the masses at his record hops is hard to figure. Nonetheless, Metrovich was all about the music, an airwaves tastemaker extraordinaire, and on the dime with his anything-goes approach to rock & roll radio. Soul stompers, crazed rockers, wacked out instrumentals and even some cool on-air ads, the three volumes comprising Mad Mike Monsters (sold separately, by the way) brings it all together into a lobe pummeling salute to this mad scientist of the DJ set. Add in expansive, insightful, and always colorful liner notes from Norton co-head ramrod Miriam Linna and you have a slam dunk salute to this airwaves wax king. Visit www.nortonrecords.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)